Venezuelan Air Force jet crashed in the state of Zulia, the pilots survived, Venezuelan newspaper Nacional reported on Sunday.
According to the newspaper, the plane that crashed was a K-8W Karakorum light jet. The Venezuelan Army bought 24 of the Pakistan and China-designed aircraft in 2010 for training purposes.
At the time of the accident there were two pilots on board, the newspaper added. Venezuelan government and military have not made any statement about the incident yet.
According to other reports which EurAsian Times could not confirm — Venezuela had ordered 18 K-8 aircraft in 2008. The first six were delivered in March 2010 and the remaining 12 in August of the same year. Venezuela ordered 18 additional K-8s to bring the total orders to 36.
According to archives, K-8 is a big milestone in the long history of close cooperation and technical collaboration between Pakistan and China. The $20 million K-8 advanced jet trainer has been jointly designed and produced by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC), Kamra and China’s Nanchang Aircraft Manufacturing Company (NAMC) and is manufactured at NAMC.
Pakistan had earlier unilaterally developed a similar aircraft but sought a partnership with China to further advance the production and technology standards of that aircraft. The K-8 is a tandem-seat advanced jet trainer (AJT) with a low-set, unswept wing that first flew in 1991.
The first batch of six K-8s (with Collins EFTS-86 MFD and Allied Signal TFE-731-2A turbofan) were delivered to the PAF in January 1995 and the second batch of K-8s was optimized for the air defense role with the Chinese PL-7 underwing Sidewinder AAMs and a gun pod (23mm) under the fuselage.
It is also equipped with a ROCKWELL Collins flight instrumentation system, with two displays in the front and two in the rear cockpit. The aircraft apart from being used as a trainer can also be used for: (i) supplementary low-level air base defense with 2 sidewinders; (ii) tactical armed reconnaissance; (iii) and ground attack armed AOP with four 250 lb. bombs or rockets.
In other news, US senators Bob Menendez and Lindsey Graham introduced new bipartisan legislation that would change US policy towards Taiwan amid its rising tensions with China as well as provide the island with $4.5 billion in security assistance over four years, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations said.
“US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez and Senator Lindsey Graham announced they have introduced the bipartisan Taiwan Policy Act of 2022,” the committee said in a press release. “Specifically, the Taiwan Policy Act of 2022 creates a new initiative to bolster Taiwan’s defense capabilities, providing almost $4.5 billion in security assistance over the next four years.”
The new bill envisions the designation of Taiwan as a US major non-NATO ally and support for Taiwan’s participation in international organizations and multilateral trade architecture, the release added.
The bill would also authorize the US government to strengthen security cooperation with Taiwan, including the creation of a comprehensive training program to improve Taiwan’s defense capabilities, according to the document.
Taiwan became alienated from Beijing after becoming a stronghold of the Chinese Nationalist Party (the Kuomintang) that suffered defeat to the Communist Party in a civil war in 1949.
The Chinese mainland and the island resumed business and informal contact in the late 1980s. Beijing opposes any official contact of foreign countries with Taiwan and considers Chinese sovereignty over the island indisputable.
Last Friday, Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe said that any attempts to use Taipei to control Beijing are doomed to failure. Speaking at a meeting with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue, Wei Fenghe said that the recent US decision on arms sales to Taiwan is seriously damaging to China’s sovereignty and security interests.